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Tech and Film: 7 Innovations Changing the Industry

These 7 technologies are poised to reshape the film industry.

What a time to be alive! Digital cameras are getting smaller, cheaper, and more powerful by the day. Our phones are turning from point-and-shoot cameras into 360-degree experiential recording devices, and smart folks in secret rooms are dreaming up new ways to push the film industry forward in ways we can only describe as pure science fiction.

Autonomous drones, dual camera virtual reality, computers learning to edit nuanced scenes, and 3D printing gear all top our latest innovative trends list, which is sure to capture your imagination (and, eventually, your pocketbook).

Let’s look at these seven technological innovations changing the film industry and how they may be helping you with your video projects before you know it.


Autonomous Drones

Tech and Film: 7 Innovations Changing the Industry — Autonomous Drones

Yes, yes there are autonomous drones out there on the market already, but today’s “autonomous” offerings are just sensational beginnings to what fully autonomous drones are going to be able to do. We’re talking about sentient drones with built-in knowledge and algorithms on everything from filmmaking techniques (shot sizes, viewing angles, and screen position) to corrective obstacle avoidance and open source technology for developing the drone cinematographers of the future.

You can read more about autonomous drone technology here or from the developers at MIT.


4k+ 3D Technology

Tech and Film: 7 Innovations Changing the Industry — 4K 3D Technology

As you can see in our comprehensive coverage of this year’s NAB convention, virtual reality (or VR as we like to say in the biz) may be the brightest star in the future-tech galaxy. One shining example would be Lucid VR’s LucidCam, which is touted as the “first and only 4K 3D VR live production camera” — you can read more here. Not to be outdone is Google-supported Yi Technology’s Yi Halo (pictured above) 16-point 4k 3D action camera. This is as impressive as it is expensive (more here).

For more on these NAB future tech offerings, check out the full post here.


Smartphone Filmmaking Gear

Tech and Film: 7 Innovations Changing the Industry — Smartphone Filmmaking Gear

To some, the idea that there will come a day when entire feature films will be shot on iPhones seems like a dystopian concept. Yet, it’s already happened. Multiple times in fact. This raises a question: will the market and industry shift to accommodate those up-and-coming iPhone and smartphone filmmakers with new, cool and innovative gear and technologies? The answer, again, is it already has — just look at this round up of iPhone gimbals unveiled at NAB 2017.

If you’re looking to dive into the iPhone filmmaking wormhole, here’s a great article on what the future will hold for the pocket-sized medium.


Dual Camera VR

Tech and Film: 7 Innovations Changing the Industry — Dual Camera VR

They say two eyes are better than one, right? So why wouldn’t this be true for virtual reality? The technonauts behind the ambitious Kickstarter project Two Eyes VR believe binocular 360 viewing and recording is truly the way of the future. It is, after all, how we experience the world day-in and day-out. You can check out more about how (and why) it works in these videos here, here and here. You can also fully check out, read up on, and potentially support the project on their Kickstarter page.

For more future-focused and ambitious projects just launching their Kickstarter dreams, check out this round-up.


Drone Goggles

Tech and Film: 7 Innovations Changing the Industry — Drone Goggles

Drone goggles are, at the very least, the most futuristic-looking technological innovation on this list — and they are, indeed, a thing of the imminent future. DJI actually unveiled their current offering at NAB, which is on the market today. However, as we can see with some of the limitations of the current products (as well as look into what could be available), POV drone operation is just beginning to take off.

Here’s the full write-up on DJI’s goggles from NAB.


Algorithm Editing

Tech and Film: 7 Innovations Changing the Industry — Algorithm Editing

Perhaps the scariest technological innovation on the horizon, algorithmic editing technologies, like the software MIT researchers are developing, may very well replace human film and video editing jobs all together. Or, depending on how you look at it, the technology may just make editing much less tedious. Either way, the breakthroughs in facial recognition, automatic labeling, and idiom appliance are all frighteningly innovative parts of the futuristic “Computational Video Editing.”

You can watch the technology in action and read up on the full program here.


3D Printing Your Own Gear

Tech and Film: 7 Innovations Changing the Industry — 3D Printing

There will come a day when shipping gear across the world will be as archaic as dial-up internet, but until 3D printing reaches the next level of speed, quality, and affordability, we can only dream. That being said, for small and simple items like follow focuses, lens rings, tripod plates, and even clapboards (pictured above), 3D printing is fast-becoming a viable option.

Here’s a list of 20 pieces of film gear you can 3D print today.


What technological innovations are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.

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